Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Should there be a separate ethical discourse?

Practical Ethics (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


It is sometimes argued that the non-therapeutic, non-consensual alteration of children‘s genitals should be discussed in two separate ethical discourses: one for girls (in which such alterations should be termed 'female genital mutilation' or FGM), and one for boys (in which such alterations should be termed 'male circumcision‘). In this article, I call into question the moral and empirical basis for such a distinction, and argue that all children - whether female, male, or indeed intersex - should be free from having parts of their genitals removed unless there is a pressing medical indication.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Bodily integrity and male and female circumcision.Wim Dekkers, Cor Hoffer & Jean-Pierre Wils - 2005 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (2):179-191.
No distinction between male and female circumcision.S. A. Abu-Sahlieh - 1995 - Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (5):311-311.
Criticising religious practices.Brian D. Earp - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 63:15-17.
Male Infant Circumcision as a 'HIV Vaccine'.B. Lyons - 2013 - Public Health Ethics 6 (1):90-103.
Male Circumcision - Facts and Fiction.Rida Usman Khalafzai - 2008 - Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 13 (4):6.


Added to PP

3,807 (#1,213)

6 months
353 (#1,948)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Brian D. Earp
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Sex and Circumcision.Brian D. Earp - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):43-45.
In defence of genital autonomy for children.Brian D. Earp - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (3):158-163.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references